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Blow up to 35


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#1 Marty Dee

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 11:41 AM

Please forgive this question from a newbie.

Why is it necessary to blow Super 16 up to 35?

And wouldn't the cost of doing that offset any savings in using 16 in the first place?
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 03:45 PM

Please forgive this question from a newbie.

Why is it necessary to blow Super 16 up to 35?

And wouldn't the cost of doing that offset any savings in using 16 in the first place?


Hi,

Super 16 is not a projection format. There is no soundtrack as its used for the wider image.

The cost of the blow up may well exceed the savings in using S16. The advantage as with shooting HD is cashflow. If the film is only released on video then the blow up is not needed.

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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 03:57 PM

If you're shooting a feature in Super-16 and do an optical printer blow-up to 35mm using an IN/IP, it costs around $25,000 to $30,000 -- this still works out to be cheaper than shooting the same amount of footage in standard 4-perf 35mm even when you figure out this blow-up cost. Remember, Super-16 is roughly 1/4 the costs of 4-perf 35mm, at least for film stock. If you were going to shoot a 35mm feature on 100,000' of stock and were spending about $60,000 on stock and processing, you can see that in Super-16, you would spend less than the $30,000 blow-up costs.

Of course, one might argue that the cost savings at the point weren't significant enough compared to the drop in picture quality, i.e. would it have been worth the extra effort and money to shoot in 35mm.

But there are so many variations that affect budget, like doing a D.I., or shooting 3-perf instead of 4-perf 35mm and ending up only in HD, etc.

But generally, Super-16 works out to be cheaper than 35mm no matter how you slice it, except maybe comparing Super-16 that goes through a 2K D.I. to 35mm that just gets contact printed.

Yes, it really is more of a cash-flow issue, spending less up front to make the movie and saving the last big chunk of the budget for the blow-up to 35mm (or D.I. going to a film-out) just in case one is never needed because you can screen the film digitally at festivals and then release it on home video only, not get a theatrical release.
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 11:16 AM

Super-16:

http://www.kodak.com/go/16mm

http://www.kodak.com...per16_intro.pdf (courtesy of Arriflex)

http://www.kodak.com...y...1.4.3&lc=en
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#5 Dan Horstman

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:22 PM

You can also do a Super16 to Reg 16mm blow down as a cheaper alternative to a blow up. A 35mm blow up here at Colorlab (where I work) for a 90 minute film runs about $35,000 (includes Super16 Interpositive, 35mm Blow Up Dupe Neg, 35mm Optical Sound Track and 35mm Composite Answer Print) a Reg 16mm blow down runs about $16,000 (includes Super16 IP, Blow Down 16mm DN, 16mm Optical Track and 16mm Composite Answer Print) this is of course from A&B Rolls.
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#6 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:48 PM

Most commercial theatres are capable of showing 35mm prints with optical sound, and perhaps one or two of the digital sound formats. Most theatres have the lenses to show 1.85:1 "flat" and 2.39:1 "scope" formats, and some theatres can properly show other aspect ratios like 1.66:1 or 1.37:1. Worldwide, there are well over 100,000 screens equipped for 35mm projection.

Digital Cinema is growing, and now can be shown on about 1 percent of theatre screens.

16mm projection can be used for moderate size screens, but is not commonly found in commercial theatres. 16mm projection once was the mainstay of the non-theatrical and school market.

Super-16 is very well suited as a lower cost production medium for television, especially when images are displayed at the HD 16:9 aspect ratio. As others have noted, the costs in "blowing up" a Super-16 production for 35mm release can often be deferred until a 35mm distribution deal is made.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 03:57 PM

One thing I've noticed twice when testing Super-16 for blow-up is that the 35mm blow-up print always looks better than the 16mm contact print. My feeling is just that it's too small a print area for showing on large screens, so Super-16 benefits from 35mm's larger area for projection (and for sound.) So the motivation to spend $16,000 on a blow-down print is weak, for me. It seems film festivals, for example, either have 35mm projection (because they've taken over a multiplex) or digital projection (sometimes crappy NTSC though) but rarely 16mm projection anymore.
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#8 Max Lundberg

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:28 PM

some theatres can properly show other aspect ratios like 1.66:1 or 1.37:1.

I'm not so familiar with projecting 35mm, but last time they did show commercials in 1.37.1 before the actual film which was 1.85:1. Maybe this is done the way that they don't use the entire film area for the image. I guess this is not the properly way? Is there any restraint in projecting entire 1.37:1 film like this if you wanted?
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:32 PM

I'm not so familiar with projecting 35mm, but last time they did show commercials in 1.37.1 before the actual film which was 1.85:1. Maybe this is done the way that they don't use the entire film area for the image. I guess this is not the properly way? Is there any restraint in projecting entire 1.37:1 film like this if you wanted?


Yes, the projectionist would have to change the lens and the projector mask. Most first-run theaters don't carry the right focal-length lens for 1.37 Academy projection (nor a 1.37 mask), mainly museums, revival, and some art house cinemas.

Generally in a first-run theater, the trailers have to be in the same format as the main feature so no switching is needed between the two. Also, some commercials transferred to 35mm were posted in HD, so the image is native 1.78, which fits nicely for 1.85 projection anyway.
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#10 Dan Goulder

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 05:56 PM

I'm not so familiar with projecting 35mm, but last time they did show commercials in 1.37.1 before the actual film which was 1.85:1.

Are you sure the commercials were run off the film projector? In most multiplex chains, the commercials are now normally run on a video projector, and the film projector doesn't start up until the coming attractions begin. Transferring those commercials to film, then splicing them onto the platter, would add a lot more cost and hassle, and would be more difficult to update. Those video commericals also tend to come off a satellite feed.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:21 PM

Are you sure the commercials were run off the film projector? In most multiplex chains, the commercials are now normally run on a video projector, and the film projector doesn't start up until the coming attractions begin. Transferring those commercials to film, then splicing them onto the platter, would add a lot more cost and hassle, and would be more difficult to update. Those video commericals also tend to come off a satellite feed.


It's a mix these days -- I've seen commercials in theaters both in 35mm prints and digitally projected. Sometimes both in the same screening -- the digital pre-show commercials end... and the first thing that pops up is annoying Coke ad or something in 35mm, before the trailers. Depends on the theater chain.

I seem to recall all the digital pre-show stuff being projected in 1.78 / 1.85, even before a scope movie + scope trailers.

One of the more ironic moments was seeing digitally-projected commercials before a 35mm print screening of "Super-Size Me", shot in DV and transferred to 35mm. Could have saved some money and shown it with the same digital projector...
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#12 Max Lundberg

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:29 PM

Also, some commercials transferred to 35mm were posted in HD, so the image is native 1.78, which fits nicely for 1.85 projection anyway.

If the 1.37 commercial(or anything in 1.37) is transferred to 35mm, doesn't it also fit for 1.85 projection(with the sidebars)?

Are you sure the commercials were run off the film projector?

Yes I'm sure.
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 06:32 PM

If the 1.37 commercial(or anything in 1.37) is transferred to 35mm, doesn't it also fit for 1.85 projection(with the sidebars)?
Yes I'm sure.


Only if it were transferred to film that way (1.37 windowboxed inside 1.85, versus 1.37 Academy.) So it's possible for them to do it -- they just seem reluctant.
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